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Summary: what God did during that first HOLY WEEK made it possible for us to get back what those first two humans lost because of their sin—a personal and eternal relationship with our Creator.

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“Who Is This King of Glory?”

April 1st 2012 Palm Sunday

(Psalm 24:7-10; Luke 19:28-40; 23:1-56)

Today is a special day/begins a special week—a HOLY week—a week that is set apart from all others.

In fact, I would say that the seven days we look back on and celebrate with music and special services each year are the seven most important days since the first seven days God used to create this world of ours.

what God did during that first HOLY WEEK made it possible for us to get back what those first two humans lost because of their sin—a personal and eternal relationship with our Creator.

• And—it all began on Palm Sunday.

• Let me put it this way.

• What happened on Good Friday and Easter Sunday morning—they are the EFFECTS for which Palm Sunday was the CAUSE.

• Our choir just led us/about this pivotal first day of that Holy Week singing, “The King is Coming.”

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So the psalmist writes “Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.”

and then he adds this question, calling for our reflection: “Who is this King of glory?”

That is our question this morning, on this Day of the Palms as we look ahead to the Day of the Passion.

• Today we look upon this man Jesus, riding into Jerusalem, and we ask, “Who Is This King of Glory?”

• On this Palm Sunday, he certainly looks like a king of glory.

• Cheering crowds, palm branches, cloaks spread on the road--a triumphal entry into the royal city, Jerusalem.

• What a scene of joy and triumph it is, fulfilling the ancient prophecy that says:

“Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

• But by the end of the week, that Holy Week, instead of a triumphal entry, there is a tearful exit.

• Those who were rejoicing on Sunday are weeping on Friday as the King of glory is led out of town in shame and sorrow.

• Who is this King of glory?

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On this Sunday Jesus is acclaimed as the messianic king: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”

On Friday he is accused of claiming to be that king:

The whole assembly carts Him off to Pilate saying…

“We found this man misleading our nation . . . claiming he himself is Christ, a king.”

“Are you the King of the Jews?” Pilate asks.

Jesus doesn’t deny it saying, “You have said so.”

• Who is this King of glory?

• Soldiers array him in splendid clothing, only to beat him up and mock him.

• Who is this King of glory?

• Glory? Glory, you say?

Where is the glory in being nailed to a cross, and having a sign placed over your head, “This is the King of the Jews”?

No garments strewn before him, now his own garments are stripped from him.

Strange king, indeed.

• On Sunday he rides in triumph on the Way of Glory.

• On Friday he staggers, condemned, on the Way of Sorrows, the way of the cross and darkness and degradation.

• Who is this King of glory?

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The world today would just as soon forget about this king, this puzzling man, Jesus.

• They want to put him on the shelf,

• push him out of sight, out of mind,

• Get on with their lives--their busy, distracted, no-need-for-God lives.

Instead of cheering crowds--or hostile crowds

Today there are just busy crowds, bustling crowds, too-busy-to-be-bothered and too-bored-to-care crowds.

• What a vacuous lot we have become!

• Overloaded with information, but starved for wisdom.

• All too busy, and yet filling our lives with nothing.

• Junk food for the mind. Junk food for the soul.

• No time or need for this man Jesus.

• Who is this King of glory? “

• You say don’t bother me, I don’t want to know.”

Ah, poor Jesus! Poor, neglected, forgotten, obsolete Jesus!

Shed a tear of nostalgia for those days of yesteryear, when religion was important and people cared about Jesus.

Shed a tear, and then let me get back to my I-Phone.

I-Pod, I-Pad--I, I, I. Ay, ay, ay, what fools we have become!

• Jesus would tell our culture: do not shed a tear for Jesus

• Shed a tear for yourselves!

• Weep and mourn, and let your laughter turn to lament!

• Do you think you will escape judgment, you who have no need for God’s mercy and his Messiah?

• How will you escape?

When death intrudes, when cancer comes calling, when judgment comes crashing down, how will you stand?

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